Documenting America's Swedish Immigrants
Among the many stories included in this book is one that describes a visit to a farm in Meadows, Manitoba, Canada to meet a group of people who had lived in Gammalsvenskby, Ukraine. Their ancestors had left Sweden in 1470 for Dagö outside Estonia's coast, where they lived as free, land-owning farm owners. About three hundred years later, one thousand descendants, young and old, were forced to relocate to Ukraine. They walked 1,200 miles to an area near Cherson, Ukraine, where they settled on farms. After the Russian revolution, they once again found themselves in a difficult situation. Sweden raised funds to bring them "home." Some stayed, while others immigrated to Canada, where they could obtain larger farms. One of them told their story to Lennart Setterdahl, who recorded it on tape. Those who stayed in Ukraine still live in the Cherson region where the settlement, Gammalsvenskby, finds itself in the middle of a war. See also articles in the paper Nordstjernan, New York, October 15 and November 15, 2022.
The cover picture shows Lennart microfilming an old Swedish-language newspaper, Nya Werlden (The New World).
Documenting America's Swedish Immigrants: Lennart Setterdahl's Life and Work was published by Swedish American Museum, Chicago, in 2019, for the exhibit "Documenting Swedish America: A Setterdahl Family Tradition, funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation.